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However, it is important to note that some of the nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes maybe achieved with ease if you use steaming or boiling as your cooking method.
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Recent studies show excellent preservation of sweet potato anthocyanins with steaming, and several studies comparing boiling to roasting have shown better blood sugar effects including the achievement of a lower glycemic index, or GI value with boiling. With that being said, read on to see some of the mind-blowing health benefits of sweet potato.
Here are some mind-blowing health benefits of sweet potato 1. It promotes eye health Observation has shown that vegetables and fruits with bright colours, like sweet potato, contain important substances that are of benefit to our health. Sweet potato contains a high level of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene that can fulfill our 1. However, it is important to note that lack of vitamin A deteriorates the outside segment of the photo-receptor which eventually breaks normal vision.
Nevertheless, consuming vitamin A with high beta-carotene will help return our vision ability. In addition, the Vitamin C and E contained in sweet potatoes are proven effective to support the health of our eyes as well as prevent them from degenerative failure. It helps to promote good heart health Various studies have shown that sweet potatoes are a great source of B6 vitamins, which are powerful when it comes to the breaking down of homocysteine, a substance that contributes to the hardening of blood vessels and arteries.
And according to the American Heart Association, the potassium content contained in it can be very helpful for the heart, as it lowers blood pressure by maintaining fluid balance.
It is also important to note that potassium is an important electrolyte that helps regulate the heartbeat. It helps to prevent cancer Findings from studies suggest that sweet potato contains anti-carcinogenic properties like beta-carotene.
This confusion exists for two reasons. First, as a shopper, it is possible for you to find sweet potatoes and yams that look reasonably alike in terms of size, skin color, and flesh color. Second, government agencies have allowed these terms to be used somewhat interchangeably on labeling, so that you often cannot rely on the grocery store signs to help you determine whether you are looking at a bin full of sweet potatoes or a bin full of yams.
For example, in many stores you can find bins that are labeled "Red Garnet Yams" and "Jewel Yams" and the foods in these bins are actually sweet potatoes.
Here are some general practical rules that you can follow. Don't use flesh color to decide whether you are getting a sweet potato or a yam. Both root vegetables come in a variety of colors.
Once again, you should assume that you are getting a sweet potato regardless of flesh color. If you are specially seeking a true yam from the plant genus Dioscoreait might be helpful to visit a more internationally focused store that specializes in foods from tropical countries.
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Here is a little more background about the relationship between sweet potatoes and yams. The name "yam" was adopted from "nyami"—the Fulani West African word that means "to eat" and that has traditionally been used to refer to yams.
Yams are native to Africa and Asia, and unlike potatoes, they have the potential to grow to a much larger size. From a science perspective, true yam is a root vegetable belonging to the Dioscoreaceae family, which are monocotyledons or "monocots" for short, with the prefix "mono" referring to the fact that they have only one embryonic seed leaf.
Sweet potatoes belong to the Convolvulaceae or morning glory plant family, are dicotyledons or "dicots" for short, with the prefix "di" referring to the fact that they have two embryonic seed leavesand are known by the scientific name of Ipomoea batatas.
So as you can see, these two root vegetables come from very different parts of the plant world, even though their names have become so intertwined in the U. History Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man.
They have been consumed since prehistoric times as evidenced by sweet potato relics dating back 10, years that have been discovered in Peruvian caves. Christopher Columbus brought sweet potatoes to Europe after his first voyage to the New World in By the 16th century, they were brought to the Philippines by Spanish explorers and to Africa, India, Indonesia and southern Asia by the Portuguese.
Around this same time, sweet potatoes began to be cultivated in the southern United States, where they still remain a staple food in the traditional cuisine.
Worldwide, about 80 million tons of sweet potatoes are grown in China each year, with Africa producing about 14 million tons, Central and South America about 2 million, and the U. How to Select and Store Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots.
Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste. At WHFoods, we encourage the purchase of certified organically grown foods, and sweet potatoes are no exception. Repeated research studies on organic foods as a group show that your likelihood of exposure to contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals can be greatly reduced through the purchased of certified organic foods, including sweet potatoes.
In many cases, you may be able to find a local organic grower who sells sweet ptoatoes but has not applied for formal organic certification either through the U.
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Examples of states offering state-certified organic foods include California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. However, if you are shopping in a large supermarket, your most reliable source of organically grown sweet potatoes is very likely to be sweet potatoes that display the USDA organic logo.
Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days.
Yet since most people don't have root cellars, we'd suggest just keeping your sweet potatoes loose not in a plastic bag, but if desired, a brown paper bag with multiple air holes punched in it will work and storing them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated cupboard away from sources of excess heat like the stove.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking Tips for Preparing Sweet Potatoes If you purchase organically grown sweet potatoes, you can eat the entire tuber, flesh and skin. Yet, if you buy conventionally grown ones, you should peel them before eating since sometimes the skin is treated with dye or wax; if preparing the sweet potato whole, just peel it after cooking. If this is not possible, to prevent oxidation, keep them in a bowl covered completely with water until you are ready to cook them.
The Nutrient-Rich Way of Cooking Sweet Potatoes Fortunately, from a nutrition standpoint, you have a number of good options for cooking sweet potatoes. While we have our own personal recommendation namely, Quick Steaming here are some additional options that you may want to consider: In several studies looking at the bioavailability of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes, boiling has been shown to be an effective cooking method.